Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #267

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

The Toad, Frog-Man and Spider-Kid have formed a team. Doctor Octopus has finally crossed the line into Nutso-ville. And to top it all off, Spidey's coming down with a cold. The day just couldn't POSSIBLY get any worse. But, as we loyal fans of the web-head know...it will!

In Detail...

"The Commuter Cometh!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #267
Aug 1985 : SMURF 267.500 : SM Title
Summary: When Cometh The Commuter
Editor:  Jim Owsley
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Bob McLeod
Inker:  Bob McLeod
Cover Art:  Mark Bright
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Articles: Daredevil, Human Torch

While Spidey mopes over recent events in his life, including his pending cold, the Human Torch happens by and notices Spidey's black costume. Wanting to verify it's not the symbiote, the Torch spooks Spidey. The two travel and chat with Spidey filling Torch in on the costume's origins and looking to call it an early night, they part ways. Unfortunately, Spidey spots a burglary in progress before he can start for home.

The thief catches a glimpse of Spidey and realizes Spidey will pound him thinking the gun he has is real. Using a nearby dummy, he pretends to have a hostage to hold Spidey at bay and head out the back door. Spidey follows and after learning he was duped chases after the thief into the subway. He manages to tag him with a tracer before the thief gets on a train and Spidey is nailed by cops for jumping a turnstile.

Deciding to call it quits for now, Spidey heads for his apartment while the thief catches a train at Grand Central for Scarsdale. After a brief montage of how they spend their night and morning, Spidey resumes the chase looking to get a signal from his spider tracer in his classic duds. Realizing he may need to expand his range a bit, Spidey heads back home and digs out his old spider tracer-tracer with the passing thought that maybe he's been letting his science slide too much lately (a fact modern Spidey readers might be inclined to agree on).

Following it across the Bronx, Spidey realizes he needs to head to the suburbs and catches a ride on the Metro-North train all they way to Scarsdale. After quieting his one-dog welcoming committee with some webbing, Spidey leaps over a fence to where no Spider-Man has gone before; suburbia.

Spidey realizes he's a fish out of water when he finds no tall structures to swing from. Trying to make like Tarzan's no good as the first tree he climbs breaks under his weight, citing his attempted citizens arrest by the neighborhood watch. Of course once the frisking turns into a sexual harassment suit via the man's wife, Spidey webs them up and continues on his not-so-merry way. He attempts to hitch a ride on top of a bus, but the driver spots him and demands a fare. Unfortunately, pockets aren't an option on the Spidey suit yet and he finds himself walking through town wishing he had brought along his civvies. In fact, he questions why he's even going to all the trouble for a two-bit thief in the first place when nobody appreciates what he does anyway. Of course, the sour beat hits a high note when two sanitation workers sing Spidey's praises and give him a lift.

Meanwhile, the thief, identified as Ron by his wife Mona, catches the spider tracer on his clothes when he goes to do some laundry, cutting off Spidey's trail mere steps away from his house. Ron panics and quickly packs a bag. Just as he gets ready to peel out in his car, he spots Spidey and tries to mow him down. Spidey tries to snag him again, but more luck goes Ron's way and he speeds off. Spidey catches a cab and after a brief language barrier problem it's "follow that car!" After a couple traffic crack-ups and getting reacquainted with his brand-new supporting cast, Spidey finally catches up to Ron and brings him to a stop.

With the money recovered and Ron heading for jail, all that's left is for Spidey to head back to the city where it's quiet.

In General...

In between all the drama and the long stories you need every issue to understand, you need one off-beat issue that has nothing to do with the current subplots. And this is it. When I first read about this issue in Wizard, I knew I had to have it, and I'm glad I got it.

We take a break from the regular on-going stories for a look at how the other half lives. This book is chock-full of humorous moments. Just when you think Spidey's luck couldn't get any worse, it does and it's a helluva ride! From Spidey's interactions with the strange and unforgiving environment and his various encounters while there, it's pure Spidey all the way. And the distance at which Spidey goes to capture one petty crook really plays up nicely on the lesson of responsibility he learned when he last let a burglar escape. The best part, though? You can get that with nary an utterance of the classic line anywhere in sight, so if you're one of the many sick of hearing it all the time you're good to go.

If you want a good laugh and a nice and light Spidey story without much need for continuity knowledge, this is the issue for you.

Overall Rating...

Five webs. It's light, it's fun, it'll quickly make its way to being one of your favorite Spidey issues. I know it's one of mine.